Stan Herd, renowned for intricate landscape designs, featured in the “Parade Across America,” a virtual inauguration celebration.
by Carlos Moreno, Kansas News Service
A Lawrence crop artist was featured in President-elect Joe Biden’s virtual inauguration Wednesday.
Stan Herd, known for elaborate portraits and other designs cut into fields, has crafted a message of unity for Wednesday’s celebration. He and his team carefully charred the phrase, “America United” in a former hay field outside Lawrence.
The 12-man crew finished Sunday. Herd told KCUR the project, requested by the Biden-Harris inauguration team, was an easy one.
“This is the simplest image I’ve done in 25 years,” he says. “It’s just big letters.”
The large, block text covers about one acre of land belonging to one of Herd’s supporters. He calls this piece and other portraits he’s made of Kamala Harris and Joe Biden a “grassroots effort.”
“This was just an opportunity, quite frankly, to get involved in this final throwdown of the inauguration after this arduous journey that we’ve all been on to try to move the country back in a direction of normalcy,” he said.
He and his team cut the shape with weed trimmers and used mulch around the letters to form an outline. Then, they used a butane torch to burn the interior part of the letters to make them stand out.
A video of the process and an aerial view of the finished product will be aired Wednesday as part of Biden’s “Parade Across America.”
While Herd was glad to take on this project, he said he wants to move away from political pieces in the future.
He considers himself a political moderate and has been frustrated with President Trump — who he’s worked with before.
About 18 years ago, Herd created a portrait on land belonging to then-real estate developer Donald Trump. He even met Rudy Giuliani in Trump’s office and said both men are completely different today than they were back then.
He said he’s been disappointed by the polarization of the country and hopes the coming years will allow him to focus on the art he wants to do.
“I’m just much more happy when I’m moving,” Herd said. “I’m 70. I’m recovering from cancer and I’m just on fire to change the world with art.”
Carlos Moreno is a freelance multimedia journalist who works in the Kansas City metro. The Kansas News Service is a collaboration of KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, KMUW and High Plains Public Radio focused on health, the social determinants of health and their connection to public policy. Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished by news media at no cost with proper attribution and a link to ksnewsservice.org.
See more at https://www.kcur.org/politics-elections-and-government/2021-01-19/lawrence-artist-burns-message-of-unity-into-kansas-field-for-biden-harris-inauguration.